The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI), have issued some warnings to farmers working with machinery and bales, with the current heatwave throughout the country.
“Keep fires away from round balers” was the main message of a recent social media post by the group, in which they also urged farmers to exercise extreme caution while making hay this week. The first message of warning was to always make sure the baler is air hosed at the end of each day. They warned that with temperatures set to rise as high as 30 degrees in places, it may be necessary to air hose machines during the day.
“It is important to keep crop, chaff, twine and net wrap material from building up on the machine near potentially hot areas, such as bearings, on ends of balers rolls and around the slip clutch. “, they also warned.
The FCI have also called on contractors to always check bearings, on the end of baler rolls, for any signs of early failure. They advised that these should be replaced if showing ANY signs of overheating. With temperatures soaring the FCI have also warned of the dangers of smoking around a baler and meadow in these conditions, while also urging for caution when using any power tools.
“If you need to use a welder, cutting torch or grinder on the baler, be especially careful”, they advised.
The group also issued a number of safety notes, should a fire break out while operating a baler.
- The first is that if the fire gets out of hand, do not attempt to control it, as personal safety must always come first.
- Next, they advise that baler fires one started will quickly ignite engulfing the entire machine in flames, though one may be able to detach the machine from the tractor in time.
- Finally, always carry a fire extinguisher. Large capacity water fire extinguishers are useful because application of water on cool parts can help prevent a fire.